Sometimes there's nothing like a good old fashioned hangin' party...
Alive For the Very First Time…
Sam and Magda were both asleep and Becca was leaning forward from the backseat between the two front ones to look through the windshield with me as I drove. Boston was in front of us as the sun came up and a whole bunch of regrets were behind us somewhere in the night. You can only live with things unsaid and things undone for so long before you stand up and take some action. Once you start moving your doubts retreat pretty fast.
“You really love her, don’t you?” Bec asked me.
“What?” I asked, then looked to Magda with her soft face sleeping in the seat next to me. “Yeah…I really do. Is it that obvious?”
“It really is,” she replied. “But it’s not that. You’ve been thinking about her all night.”
I had. Not just about her, but about what had been done to her in the city ahead that had no idea what was coming for it. Mostly though I’d been thinking about how much I loved her. About how I would do anything so she could smile without looking scared. So she could look at me without haunted shadows in her eyes. So she could sleep and dream without nightmares. She was having one now, dark and sick, her body shivering like she was cold. I thought about how I would do anything so she could feel warm again.
“You finally grew into those eyes,” Becca said.
Maybe I had. I don’t know. I’d always felt like my eyes got me into more trouble than not, which is why I’d always covered them. Glasses if I could, the glaze of a thick stupor when I couldn’t.
“So what’s up with that anyway?” Bec asked me. “You’ve just…been on the run this whole time? What exactly were you running from?”
“We could be having this whole conversation inside, couldn’t we?” I asked her.
“What’s up with that?” I turned her own question back on her.
“It started one day when I was with Sam and Sara,” she explained. “I actually thought Sara had spoken out loud. I didn’t realize for quite a while that I’d actually heard her thoughts while they thought I couldn’t.”
“Yeah, whatever. How is what I’m wondering,” I said.
“You’re kind of a dismissive little prick, did you know that?” she asked me. There was no malice in her tone, but no forgiveness either.
“I’ve spent years looking into it, Michael. I have shelves of books and notes on this,” Becca said. “The original Nephilim weren’t just made out of thin air by the Seraphim. They created an entire caste of angels called Grigori specifically so they could breed them with mortals and create a bloodline that they could manipulate later on. So they could wiggle into their minds and awaken something inside of them and just sort of…switch them on when they needed them for something.”
“I’ve never heard of these Grigori,” I told her. I hadn’t exactly made a study of the history of the Fold, but my mother or Samael or my Aunt Av had told me a thing or two whenever I was curious growing up.
“Most people haven’t,” she explained. “Like I said, I’ve spent years on this. Even the rest of the Fold didn’t really know about them.”
“So what happened to them? How could an entire caste go unseen?”
“When they were done sowing their seeds amongst the mortals the Seraphim destroyed them. All of them. Then they set about making sure that the bloodline stayed strong through the ages. That’s one of the reasons they had Cherubs going around getting people to fuck specific other people.”
“I thought that was because of love,” I said, confused.
“It was…but at first there was no ‘love’,” Bec went on. “We came up with that one. Love I mean. It’s a human invention. Sure, a Cherub would have told you it’s more a force of nature, and they’re right, but it didn’t exist until people started feeling it.”
“Okay…so…to begin with it was all some kind of breeding program?” I asked.
“Yeah. Exactly. The Seraphim had to make sure that their hidden bloodline stayed true long enough for it to spread far enough through the gene pool that they could leave it alone. By the time people were building towns instead of living in caves it had already gone far enough and they just wiped out the Grigori. A lot of the Nephilim bloodline stayed pure by grouping into clans and cults and stuff. A lot of the mystery cults and things like that were all based on Nephilim stock.”
“Fuck, like the Masons or the Shriners?” I asked incredulous.
“No, nothing like that,” Bec laughed at my ignorance. “These are actually secret groups, Michael. What good is a secret cult if they’re in parades?”
“So what does this have to do with you? Wait, never mind. Stupid question.”
“Naïve maybe. I wouldn’t call you exactly stupid,” she said. I had to look over my shoulder to see that she was smiling. It was hard most times to tell if Bec was having a laugh or genuinely digging at you.
“So you’ve just been researching this for the last twenty years?” I asked her. “Tracing your bloodline?”
“Not just mine. There’s still lots of us out there. Mark for example. When the war was coming to a close they tried to tap all their Nephilim but some of us had other commitments by then, you could say. It turns out that unless you still believed in all their bullshit you couldn’t be ‘activated’. I came across some really weird little cells and groups though…even now that they’re gone they have allies and supporters.”
“That explains Ephra then, and how he has crew backing him up” I said.
Becca went quiet and I looked over my shoulder again to see that she had sat back and was looking out the window at her side, chewing on one of her fingernails and frowning. She had no problem with reading others thoughts so I figured she wouldn’t mind having it done to her. I brushed against her mind and recoiled from the black rage I found there. For all her poised composure she had a tense and coiled knot of hate inside her.
“Is this when you tell me not to hate and to live in love?” she asked without looking at me.
“What?” I asked, turning my eyes back to the road as we came into the city. “Fuck that, Bec. Do what you gotta do. No one ever really talked about Sara much when I was little, but I know a bit.”
“Don’t ask me if I want to talk about it. I don’t,” she said firmly. “You do what you have to do too; read my mind, I don’t care. But don’t ask me to talk about it.”
“I don’t really like heart to hearts, Bec,” I told her. “It’s all good.”
“Good. Let’s just say that I know some of the things he put her through and the fact that she didn’t get the chance to kill that cold alien fuck is a real shame.”
“Hey, ‘nuff said. We’ll get him, Bec.”
“We should be chasing him down right now,” she went on. “No offence to you or your girl, Michael. We should be chasing him down right now.”
“He’ll come to us,” I shrugged. “He’ll be too ready, too dug in, for us to go for him directly. He’s had all of time to get ready for someone jumping him, but only 23 years to plan for coming after me.”
“He’s hard though, Michael,” Bec said, looking back at me. “Hard and cold and emotionless. Are you really ready for that?”
“Look,” I told her. “I’m not like the rest of my family. What they went into reluctantly so they could go back to peace and flowers and all that? I’ve never known it. I’ve never really felt it. I don’t have the same…hang ups…that they had.”
“Ha!” she laughed. “Spoiling for a fight then, are you?”
“Fuck yeah. I’m not just willing like they were, I’m fucking eager. I can get away with all types of shit they couldn’t because I don’t have to worry about becoming a demon or any of that shit. I’m just a normal guy under all the shit they put on me when I was born.”
“If you say so, Michael. If I’ve learned anything in all my studies and from being with Sam and hearing him tell me about his life…it’s that there’s always consequences. There will be for you too.”
“I’m cool with that though,” I explained to her. “I actually really just don’t give a fuck at all. My life has to have some point, and if it’s to do what has to be done and then suffer the consequences I can live with that. I don’t care what happens to me along the way.”
“How does Magda feel about that, though?” Becca asked. “You don’t think she might want you to come out of this whole?”
“Did Sam or Sara ever touch you? I mean, in the touched by an angel sort of way.”
She was quiet for a second and her thoughts were a churning mess of sadness and loss and memory. A hot day, a loving touch when she most needed it, an awakening inside of her that she hadn’t expected to find. I pulled back when the mental images got lurid and I blushed.
“Yeah, once,” she said quietly.
“Well Magda’s seen it to,” I explained. “She knows me for who I really am. She knows what makes me tick now. If she wasn’t okay with it I’d have known. She couldn’t have hidden it from me without hiding it from herself. I’d have seen it in her. She’s cool with this.”
“You don’t know much about women, do you?” Bec asked with a wry grin on her face.
“What?” I asked.
“Nothing. Never mind.”
This Is What Happens When You Open That Door…
Black pants, black boots. Black shirt, black jacket. Black gloves, black hat. Black glasses and a black resolve to what was about to happen. Samael and Becca thought it was kind of cute that Magda had decided to buy almost the exact clothes as me at the army surplus store. When they said it it made her crack a small smile, but I could tell without reading her thoughts that she wasn’t feeling anything close to mirth. With any luck we were going to be bathing in blood by noon and there wasn’t really anything funny about that.
Sam had a nonchalance to this kind of thing, but I’d seen the videos so I knew why. This was ground level stuff to him; entry level smiting. Wrath for Dummies. He was content to wait in the car and be the wheelman. Despite his two decade break he’d been doing dirt like this so long that he didn’t need to get in the thick of it, he was content to wait and drive. Bec was content just to be with her man, a shotgun in her lap and a surprising lack of nerves in her mind.
“You ready for this?” I asked Magda as we sat in the backseat of the car on the curb outside the pool hall.
She took a deep breath and fumbled with the handgun she held. I showed her how to turn the safety off and she did, putting it in the front pocket of the loose black jacket. She pulled the black hat lower over her forehead and nodded, letting the breath out between her teeth. I was about to say something else, I don’t know what but something, but she was already getting out of the car. I climbed out the same door as her and put my boots on the concrete, swinging the black baseball bat up onto my shoulder like a man going to work.
With a grim resolve she stepped to the door, her thick black soles crunching some broken glass under them as she pushed the door open and I walked in behind her. Her voice was loud and clear like I’d never heard when she spoke. “Where’s Dane?”
Everyone in the place, about a half dozen skinheads and a small handful of other people, turned and looked.
“Who’s asking?” said one of the skins, standing up and looking menacing as his friends rose to back him up.
“Where is he?” I asked, shifting the bat to my other shoulder.
“Who the fuck are you?” asked another guy, coming out of the bathroom to my left and walking over like he was going to do something special.
I turned to look at him, pointing at his chest with the end of the bat. “You know where Dane is?”
“I asked you who the fuck you are, brother,” the skinhead said, reaching up to swat the bat to the side.
I straight armed its end into his chest, knocking him back a step and onto one knee. “You’re not my brother, dude. Where’s Dane?”
Pool cues, bottles from tables, hard scarred knuckles; all of a sudden they all had something to offer as they walked across the room towards us, slowly but ready and spreading out around us. Magda took the gun from her pocket and worked the action and put a bullet into the ceiling. They all stopped but didn’t back down. Plaster and dust drifted down through the air and everything seemed to stand still. The guy I’d hit in the chest with the bat was getting back to his feet.
“You can’t shoot us all, bitch,” he spat.
“She doesn’t have to,” I said, swinging the bat back up onto my shoulder. “She just wants Dane and that fuck Beanie. Where are they?”
“What about the rest of us?” one of them asked loudly, brandishing a pool cue. “You think we’re just gonna stand here?”
“Nope,” I said, stepping in front of Magda and tapping the end of the bat against the toe of my boot. “I’m hopin’ that you don’t, actually.”
I told Magda to stay behind me as they swarmed. The first was the one I’d already hit, trying to come at me from the side with his fists. It’s hard to concentrate on a rumble when an elbow smashes your front teeth back into your throat. One of them managed to break a pool cue over the left side of my neck as I brought the bat up and down onto another’s head and over the ‘pang!’ sound I heard his skull crack. My other hand grabbed the sharp broken end of the cue and yanked it away to ram it back into the guy’s stomach. It came out his back and blood came out his mouth and another one came at me with a bottle. I blocked it with the bat and the broken shards cut his hand. He clutched at his bleeding fist and I clutched at his face, throwing him back into the others that were ganging around me to clear some space.
Magda had the matte black handgun pointed over my shoulder, twitching it back and forth from one guy to another to another. One of them came around her right side and she spun and shot him in the chest, letting out a little yelp of surprise as the force took him to the floor and the bullet took his life. Another leapt around me to grab her but I brought my foot up and kicked him through the door into the street. All that was left were the other people, the ones with hair. None of them looked too committed to their little brotherhood and they fled for the door.
A door at the back opened and bullets started flying out of it at us. I made sure Magda was behind me and covered my face with my left arm as they emptied their weapons.
“What the fuck!?” one of them yelled from where he crouched around the doorframe. “How is that guy not dead!?”
“Get behind something,” I said to Magda as I flipped a pool table up on its edge.
She dove behind it and I shrugged bullets out of my body as I walked towards the doorway at the back. To my left the bartender popped up with a shotgun and as he pulled the trigger I tossed the baseball bat at him in a horizontal spin with a flick of my wrist; I heard his face break but I was already looking again to the door at the back. The pellets had taken my glasses apart and one lodged in the corner of my eye, stuck there. Someone poked his head around the edge of the door and fired at me with a handgun and then ducked back behind the wall.
I reached right through the drywall and pulled him into the room by the back of his neck, slamming him to the ground and kicking his gun away across the stained brown linoleum. Someone else dropped to their knee in the doorway and emptied a clip of automatic lead into my chest; I staggered back a step and as I heard the ‘click’ of an empty weapon I reached down and broke both his arms, one in each hand, and grabbed the side of his head. I lifted him from the floor and smashed his head into the top of the doorframe.
“Are you Dane?” I asked. He stuttered that he wasn’t.
“Beanie?” I asked. He stuttered that he wasn’t.
I flinched my forearm muscles and twitched my wrist and snapped his neck. I heard movement on the floor behind me and turned to see the guy I’d pulled through the wall, covered in white dust, pointing his gun at me again. I grinned grimly and he pulled the trigger. The bullet hit me in the middle of the chest and I grinned again.
“What about you?” I asked him. “Are you Dane or Beanie?”
He pulled the trigger again and his face fell as the gun clicked. I grinned again and said, “Shit son, you’re out of bullets.”
He threw the gun at me and moved to get up and run. He took three steps before Magda came out from behind the pool table and shot him in the hip. He gripped the wound as he fell and screamed.
“Nice shot, baby,” I said as I walked over and pulled the guy back to his feet.
“I was aiming for his face,” she told me, walking over to join us.
“Where can we find Dane? And Beanie?” I asked him, punching him in the wound with one fist while I held him by the face with the other.
“You’re fucked!” he yelled, his voice full of the false bravado of a zealot who knows he’s about to do so it doesn’t matter. “He’ll be here soon enough, fucker! I saw the bartender call him!”
“Good,” I said. “I hope he gets here before the cops.”
“The cops won’t come to save you, fucker! He’s got them on the take!”
I picked the shotgun pellet out of my eye and flicked it at him. “Do I look like I need saving?”
I kicked his feet out from under him and he fell to his knees between me and Magda. Grabbing the sides of his head I wrenched his face up towards her. She took off her glasses then her hat, throwing them to the floor, and shook out her hair.
“Remember me?” she asked, her voice shaking and tears coming to her eyes.
“I don’t…you…I think…” he stammered.
“Open your mouth,” she said, pointing the gun at his face.
He struggled to get away from me, but use was that? I grabbed his face and pulled his jaw open and she savagely shoved the barrel of the Glock sideways into his throat.
“Go ahead,” she said. “Call me a nigger now, motherfucker.”
There were tears coming out his eyes and choking sounds coming from his mouth as his teeth clacked and scraped on the gun. His cheeks puffed out and his eyes bulged when she pulled the trigger and cleared his mind.
“You feelin’ better yet?” I asked as I let his body drop.
“Not yet,” she said, taking a deep breath and letting it out slowly as she looked around at the room. “But I’m getting there.”
I grinned and put my hand on the side of her head, pulling her cheek to me so I could kiss it. The phone in my pocket buzzed; Sam has sent me a message saying that bikes had just pulled up outside. I nodded at Magda as I put it away, and then turned to look towards the door. The first guy through got a bullet in his chest and fell back, the other three dove through the door and took cover behind the pool table I’d flipped over.
“Dane!” Magda yelled.
“Who is that!?” someone yelled. “What the fuck do you want!?”
“I’m a business man!” someone else yelled, his voice deeper than the first. “We can work something out if this is over the Roxbury thing!”
I was walking towards the pool table, its felt ripped and torn by bullets. Magda yelled, “Oh, we’ll work it out alright!”
I kicked my boot into the pool table, the two legs against the floor snapped off and it landed crookedly on the three guys under it. I stomped on its surface and heard grunts as the other two legs broke and it pressed down on them. I reached down and grabbed it, flipping it across the room, to see them crouched or splayed out on the floor and looking up with shock on their faces. I could tell which one was Beanie by his belt buckle. I grabbed the other two and knocked their heads together, knocking them out. Beanie pushed himself to his feet and lunged at me as I dropped them and he caught my jaw with a hard left hook that snapped my head to the side. My hand shot out and I grabbed him by the neck and squeezed. His tongue lolled out of his mouth and I threw him to the floor by Magda’s feet.
“Who the fuck are you people!?” he asked in a choked voice, looking at me.
I pointed at Magda and shook my head. “It’s not me you should be talking to.”
He looked up at her and she frowned back, her mouth and eyes telling the story for him.
“You…” he said.
“Good, you remember me. I wouldn’t want you to die confused.”
“Fuckin’ nig…” he started, but his words turned to a scream as she shot him in the thigh and he scrambled across the floor away from her.
I stomped on his leg where the blood was gushing and he screamed and grabbed at my boot. I flicked my ankle and he span on the floor, leaving a spiral of blood on its dirty surface. I grabbed him under the arms and pulled his shoulders backwards, lifting him half way to his feet. Magda put the barrel of her gun against his forehead and grabbed at his belt buckle, undoing it and jerking it violently from his pants.
“Wh…what are you going to do!?” he asked, his voice sounding more like a panicked little bitch than anything else.
“Teach you empathy,” she said through her teeth, her voice thick with emotion and her lips shaking.
She put the gun in her pocket and shakily wrapped the tail of the belt around her right fist, staring doom into his eyes with her stare.
“Fucking nigger,” Beanie spat.
Magda leaned back and stroked the belt buckle across his face, blood and a tooth flying from his lips. She hissed, “Say that again, I fucking dare you.”
“Nigger!” he yelled.
She lost it then, lashing back and forth at his face with the belt buckle and screaming savage rage. The shit that came out of my girl’s mouth…whoa. I made a mental note to never ever cross this girl. Never to hurt her, never to raise my voice at her in anger…never to even come home late. I dropped him to the floor and took a step back while the anger poured out her, down the belt, and into his body. He tried to crawl away on his face at one point and she started stomping on him in between strokes with the belt.
Leaning her hands on her knees and panting and crying and cursing she was still hitting him with the buckle now and then, but he wasn’t moving anymore apart from the odd labored and struggled breath, wet and choked and gory. Her hair was stuck to her face with blood and sweat and she was fucking beautiful. Exquisite in perfection of punishment. I heard a groan behind me and looked over to the other two I’d knocked out. One was crawling to a dropped handgun, the other shaking his head trying to figure out what had happened to the world he once knew.
“Which one of you is Dane?” I asked as I walked towards them.
The one going for the gun pointed at the other one so I kicked the gun away and stomped his face down into the floor.
“So you’re Dane,” I said, pushing him over onto his side. “I’ve heard all about you.”
“Look…I’m sorry. I’m sorry. Aren’t you…aren’t you Michael Fox? Please man, I’m sorry…forgive me!” he wailed and begged.
“I’m not that kind of savior,” I said.
Magda had staggered over, the belt dropped and the gun back in her hand.
“Mags!” Dane said, holding his hand up and crying. “I’m sorry! I can’t…I don’t’ want to…I’m sorry!”
“Fuck you Dane.” She shot him in the face and dropped the gun, falling against me in exhaustion. I put my arm around her and propped her up.
“Better now?” I asked.
“I’m not done.”
She staggered away from me and went back for the belt. She fell to her knees at Beanie’s bloody body and wrapped it around his neck, pulling it tight. She struggled to sit him up so I helped her. She stood and motioned to the exposed ceiling beams, choked with dust and grime. I lifted him and she stood on a chair to tie the other end to one of the beams. He woke up and spoke through his shattered face as she hopped down and looked up into his eyes.
“Wh…what are you doing…” his strangled voice said.
“Lynching you,” she said, and then nodded at me.
I let go of him and his weight sagged down, pulling the belt tighter as his face went purple. His tongue came out of his mouth dripping and running with strings of his blood and spit and his legs twitched as he jerked and spasmed. Magda watched with a sneer as his life ended, the buckle biting into his neck below his left ear.
We could hear distant sirens and the phone in my pocket was buzzing again. I put my hand on her shoulder and she turned her face quickly to look at me. She wiped her mouth clean on the sleeve of her baggy black jacket and locked her lips to mine, her mouth wide open and her tongue in my mouth. She threw her arms around me and as Sam no doubt panicked in the street at the approaching law we made out while Beanie swung limply at the end of his belt next to us.
“Let’s go,” she said, smiling and breathing hard, when she at last pulled away.
Magda fast stepped over and grabbed her dropped gun. I grabbed the bat from behind the bar and smiled up at the security camera, giving it the finger before hopping the bar and following her into the street. Either Sam or Becca had spread plastic in the back seat and it crinkled and we slithered as we got in. Sam floored it and we were out.
“We good?” Becca asked, looking back at us in the mirror on the sun visor.
“Real good,” Magda said, still smiling through their blood on her face.
I looked at her, into her eyes, and the haunting was gone. I smiled back and she nodded, licking her lips.
“Thanks,” she said simply.
It’s Like Living in a Photograph…
“It hurts, doesn’t it?” she asked me.
“It’s getting shot…so yeah, it hurts,” I chuckled.
We were lying on the bed in our underwear, Magda’s hair still wet from the limp pressure of the motel shower. She smelled like motel soap. I felt like motel sleep. The room was lit with that pale orange motel glow from the little motel lamp.
“You can’t tell though,” she said, rolling on top of me and sitting on my lap. She ran her hands over my chest, trying to find the spots the bullets had hit me. “They’re just…gone.”
“What about this?” I asked her, sliding my hand down her waist and around to the scar on her hip, caressing it gently with my fingertips.
“No,” she said, smiling down at me. “I still want it.”
“You’re fuckin’ hardcore,” I said.
“No, I’m not. I cried like a little girl. You were so…grim.”
“Maybe it runs in my family. Sometimes you just do what you have to do,” I said to her, holding hips in my hands and pushing up at her with my hips.
Magda cocked her eyebrow at me and ground back down into me. “It’s kinda hot.”
“What? Me being grim?”
“No…I mean…the violence, Michael. I kinda think I like it…”
“Oh really?” I asked her.
Her eyes simmered and she rocked her hips back and forth on top of my hardening cock. She reached behind her back and undid her bra, holding it over the edge of the bed and letting it fall to the floor. She licked her top lip and ran her hands up her smooth stomach to cup one of her breasts in each hand, squeezing them softly. I held her hips firmly, relishing the sensation of her pussy pressing against me through two layers of cloth. She stood up on her knees and I pulled her panties down around her thighs. Magda leaned forward, pressing her breasts against my chest as she wiggled her ass back and forth and I lowered them further. She lifted her legs and arched her back so she could push them over her knees and kick them off with her feet. Then she slid down between my legs, pulling the hem of my boxers down with her. She climbed back onto my lap and I lifted my knees to throw my underwear to the floor with hers.
Magda reached between her legs and guided my cock to the opening of her wet pussy, shifting her hips slightly back and forth as I started to slide into her. Very slowly she wound her waist around, pulling me into her inch by inch with her gyrations and the muscles inside of her. She had been looking into my eyes with hers half closed, but as she sunk lower on top of me she closed them and took in a sharp breath through her mouth and leaned her head backwards. Now fully inside of her I pushed gently up in time with her swiveling hips. It was slow, but more sultry than sensual.
“Ohhhhh,” she moaned. “I’m so wet…”
She was. Smashing those that had wronged her had obviously unleashed something wild inside soft and gentle Magda. She slowly built speed and momentum, rocking forward and back on top of me now instead of round and round in sexy circles. She pushed her hair up on top of her head and let it fall slowly over her face and I was reminded of how fucking hot she had looked covered in the blood of her enemies. She put her hands on my chest and leaned forward, raising and lowering herself on my hard cock. Her dark hair hung in my face and she was looking in my eyes with the same look she’d had when she shot Dane in the face and left his body on the floor of the pool hall. I thrust up into her and she let out one sharp “AH!” before she started pounding her pussy up and down on my shaft.
“Next time,” she panted, grunting out the words between thrusts with her hips. “Next time… no…guns…”
“No?” I asked, grabbing her hips harder as she fucked me.
“No…so that…the cops…don’t…come…” she went on, smiling savagely at me.
“Why?” I asked, pushing harder up into her as she increased the strength of her fucking.
“So…I can…fuck…right…then…and there…AH!”
It was more than I could stand. Something about it was just so fucking hot. I grabbed her hard and pounded my cock up into her as I came inside her wet, gripping pussy. She giggled at me and fell forward onto my chest. I wrapped my arms around her as she kept moving her hips, wiggling back and forth, one hand on the small of her back and the other grabbing her ass. She kissed and licked my neck and squirmed around on top of me until my cock was hard again. It came to life inside of her as soon as I thought about wishing I could keep fucking her and she giggled again as I resumed my thrusts into her.
Every tribe has its healers and its hunters. Sometimes the healers go to war to guide the hands of those that would go too far, or to still the hands of the unjust. Sometimes the hunters leave the healers at home. It was clear what kind of war this one was, and what role we served in the tribe. I felt at home, at peace, at one with myself and with Magda. As we made love I heard it in her thoughts, too. She had found a calling and someone to share her life with, as odd and bloody as it was to be. She now knew that all things she had gone through in her life were okay because there was a way to make them okay. To make them mean something. To make people like those that had spent her whole life hurting her pay.
You sleep the sleep of the righteous when you have a reason to live. Virtue could wait.